Sunday, July 14, 2024
Editorial72 Real-Life Wrestling Relationships In Pictures (3/3)

72 Real-Life Wrestling Relationships In Pictures (3/3)

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As promised, here is the last volume of a mini-series looking at 72 wrestling relationships. These wrestling couples are featured in picture form. Check the links for a more detailed introduction and the first 48 couples: Volume #1Volume #2

Wrestling Relationships49. Rhea Ripley & Demetri “Action” Jackson

Our next couple is Rhea Ripley and independent wrestler/trainer Demetri Jackson. The relationship hasn’t been much of a secret, but they only officially let the world know back in October.

As Jackson works as a trainer, they have been seen regularly working out together. You can tell from pictures and posts they are loving life, and much like Peyton Royce & Shawn Spears, there is an age gap of roughly 11 years. But it’s not the age that matters… it’s how someone makes you feel. And it’s clear they couldn’t be any happier!


Wrestling Relationships50. Rich Swann & Su Yung {Married}

Yes Rich, we make the same face when we see Su Yung looking like a normal human being. Although, if anyone has watched Impact Wrestling lately, they will know she is currently playing “Susie”, who is a more of a human character (with the mentality of a child) with a split personality.

There was controversy in their relationship a couple of years ago, when Swann was arrested for apparently forcing her in to a car after a dispute. He was let go because there wasn’t enough evidence, and Su did not want to press charges. Since then, there have been no further reports, and it is assumed they are as happy together as they are in the picture.


Wrestling Relationships51. Ricochet & Kacy Catanzaro

Would I be wrong if I said they are the most athletic couple in the business? Ricochet is one of the greatest high-flyers in the world, while Catanzaro got to the final of American Ninja Warrior. I can’t pinpoint when this relationship began, but again… it’s likely NXT being the culprit.

What is it with NXT anyway? It’s a real love nest at the WWE Performance Center. They have been seen together in public for a while, so they haven’t been hiding the fact, but they don’t really talk about it either. They have shared their collective love for workouts in WWE videos.


Wrestling Relationships52. Rob Van Dam & Katie Forbes

From the most athletic to the raunchiest, Rob Van Dam and Katie Forbes are the least shy couple we have ever seen on TV. When they aren’t snogging each other’s faces off, Forbes is shaking her big booty in his face as they enjoy a Jacuzzi with drinks. Not only that, but Katie has her own “girlfriend” called Jennifer Barlow, forming a sexy triangle between them. This triangle got Impact in a ton of trouble with their Twitch streaming service, as a steamy hot segment showed RVD, Forbes and Barlow enjoying whipped cream in bed.

It was implied that the two girls were doing things to Rob under the sheets (they probably were) as he cut a promo. This got Impact banned from Twitch for several weeks, which RVD & Katie found hilarious. Since returning, the couple has toned it down a little… but probably not enough for some viewers. When they aren’t getting it on or complaining about social media comments, they sporadically manage each other’s matches.


Wrestling Relationships53. Roderick Strong & Marina Shafir {Married}

I’m not sure how they met, but they were married in 2015, a few years before Shafir got to NXT. For anyone who doesn’t know, she is one of the Four Horsewomen of MMA with Jessamyn Duke, Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey. As for Roderick Strong, for years he was one of the most loyal, hardworking wrestlers in the history of Ring Of Honor.

So much so, it might have come as a bit of a shock when he left ROH for NXT. He is an undisputed 20-year veteran and a member of Adam Cole’s Undisputed Era stable, while Shafir is still relatively inexperienced with wrestling. We last saw her winning a match on Raw Underground, so we’ll likely be seeing her again soon.


Wrestling Relationships54. Ruby Riott & Cousin Jake

There is little mention of their relationship anywhere, but it exists. Most will know Ruby Riott for her time in WWE as the leader of the Riott Squad, but Cousin Jake (aka Jake Something) will only be known to Impact Wrestling fans; working as one-half of The Deaners tag team.


Wrestling Relationships55. Rusev (Miro) & Lana {Married}

One of the most well-known couples in wrestling. Lana originally worked with a Russian accent, and Rusev was more of a monstrous brute. Over time, the dynamic changed and WWE dropped their partnership on TV. During a time when Rusev was being managed by Summer Rae, Rusev & Lana went ahead and got married in real-life and posted it all over social media. It destroyed the storyline WWE had planned and got them some heat.

They never recovered from this, even when “Rusev Day” became popular, because WWE wasn’t willing (or could understand) to capitalize on it. The TV relationship changed again when they got “divorced” and Lana married Lashley. Rusev was unexpectedly released earlier this year, putting an end to any resolution. Lana was dropped as Lashley’s wife and manager in favor of MVP, and has since paired up with Natalya. Rusev debuted two weeks ago for AEW, going by “Miro”, which is short for his real name Miroslav.


56. Sasha Banks & Sarath Ton {Married}

After an incredible run in NXT, Sasha Banks debuted on the main roster in 2016. Later the same year, she married retired wrestler and costume designer Sarath Ton. He had wrestled for WWE as “Mikaze” but suffered a major injury which forced him to retire, so WWE offered him the costume designer job. He makes not only costumes for Banks, but for many WWE Superstars. Sasha said the following about his work completing her wrestling image:

“I haven’t been able to pick out what colors I wanted or scheme,” said Banks. “I just had him do it because now he knows what I want. He envisions it. I just tell him, ‘I want to look the best, the greatest. Just do your thing,’ and he always makes me look amazing.”


57. Seth Rollins & Becky Lynch *Engaged*

Another well-documented relationship in WWE is that of Seth Rollins & Becky Lynch. At one point last year, they worked together as champions of the Raw brand. Whether it worked is up for debate, but the main thing is that Rollins & Lynch have found happiness in each other.

And soon they will bring a new bundle of joy in to the world, as their first child will bring them even closer together. They announced their engagement last month.


58. Sonny Kiss & Killian McMurphy *Engaged*

And here we are with the first (openly known) homosexual relationship in wrestling. Sonny Kiss is signed to AEW, and is the gender fluid tag team partner of Joey Janela. For anyone who doesn’t understand the term gender fluid, it means that Sonny Kiss interchangeably uses he & she pronouns, because Sonny has not yet committed to one gender.

As of 2018, it is known that Kiss has a boyfriend called Killian McMurphy, who worked for Lucha Underground and several independent promotions. You can read their exclusive explaining their relationship here:

Exclusive: Lucha Underground’s Sonny Kiss & Killian McMurphy Comment on Being The First Openly Gay Active Wrestling Couple, National Coming Out Day


59. Tessa Blanchard & Daga {Married}

2019 was an amazing year for Tessa Blanchard, as she made history by going toe-to-toe with Sami Callihan and winning awards for Move Of The Year, Wrestler Of The Year, and Match Of The Year at Slammiversary. However, just before challenging Callihan for the World Championship, bullying and racism allegations appeared on Twitter. She addressed the comments, but it did not satisfy Allysin Kay and some others. The woman she allegedly hurt with a racist comment, talked to Tessa and they put it behind them.

Tessa’s World title challenge was questionable before the allegations though, as it opened up the question of “should women wrestle men?”, and the debate divides opinion among fans and wrestlers alike. Does it simulate domestic abuse? Or is it treating women equally by allowing everyone to be in the same boat in a choreographed fight? I’m of the opinion that if Chyna could (it was never questioned) then it’s possible, but it needs to be handled in the right way. The issue stemmed mostly from the fact it was over a World Championship traditionally won by men, and Tessa isn’t a big woman like a Chyna or an Awesome Kong.

She went to Hard To Kill and became the Impact World Champion, defending it a handful of times against men, and Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie before the pandemic hit. While this was happening, Blanchard announced her engagement to Mexican star Daga in November, and they were married in the summer. Despite being a so-called “bad person”, several of her peers attended the wedding, including: Gail Kim, Moose, Taya Valkyrie, Jordynne Grace, Kiera Hogan, Diamante, Alisha Edwards & Melissa Santos.

Just a month before this. Following a dispute with Impact management (they asked her to send in a video package to help them sell Slammiversary while she was isolating in Mexico), Tessa decided not to play ball and refused to help them. With Tessa out and Michael Elgin released over sex abuse allegations, Impact had to make severe changes to their Slammiversary main event. They released Tessa five days before her contract was to expire and stripped her of the title. Daga is meant to be working for Impact and is still under contract, but has not wrestled for them since March. Their future remains uncertain.


60. The Miz & Maryse {Married}

They have become so well-known, they are the first wrestling couple to feature in their own reality TV show called “Miz & Mrs”. They met during their time in WWE, and after Maryse was released in 2011, she commentated for FWE before turning her attention to getting her real estate license. She earned this and became a realtor in 2013, while The Miz worked in the mid-card after an incredible push to the top of the card a couple of years prior.

It’s unknown if their relationship began before she was released, but they were engaged as of 2013 and married by 2014. They have since had two daughters, the first born in 2018, and the second last year. Maryse returned to WWE in 2016 as The Miz’s manager. Last year, she took a step back from WWE TV to focus on family, and has acquired American citizenship. Because of the Miz & Mrs show beginning in 2018, Maryse ceased appearing on Total Divas. The Miz continues to wrestle full-time in WWE, as one-half of a tag team with John Morrison.


61. The Undertaker & Michelle McCool {Married}

For a long time, not much was known about the relationship between Mark Calaway & Michelle McCool. All anyone knew was that McCool was “Mrs. Undertaker”, as they kept their private life quiet. After retiring from the ring, Calaway opened up about his life and shared many stories about his time inside and outside the ring.

They were married in 2010 while they were still active, but McCool decided to retire in 2011 after mounting injuries to her ribs, sternum, foot, and more. This was about the same time that The Undertaker stopped wrestling on a full-time basis because of his own injuries. In 2012, their daughter was Kaia was born. For the next few years, The Undertaker appeared sporadically for WWE, mostly to defend his undefeated WrestleMania streak. McCool helped him recover from his plethora of surgeries and training. In 2014, he suffered a severe concussion in the same match with Brock Lesnar which ended the streak.

For the next five years, The Undertaker kept on returning for WrestleMania’s and the odd Saudi Arabia card. Together, they worked through his surgeries and got him in shape, although he deeply regretted his encounter with Roman Reigns and apologized profusely for what he knew was a terrible outing. In 2020, he finally announced retirement after his Boneyard match with AJ Styles at WrestleMania. WWE aired a must-see documentary sharing the thoughts of the man behind the character, along with McCool’s experience.


62. Thomas Latimer (aka Bram) & Kamille *Engaged*

 

As stated in the first volume, Latimer was previously married to Charlotte Flair. He was arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend who he was having an affair with; but these charges were later dropped. Many fans will know him as Bram, a tough British brawler introduced by Magnus (Nick Aldis) in Impact Wrestling. He departed in 2017 and worked in Scotland & Japan for a while, til he landed a deal with the revived NWA in 2019. With Royce Isaacs, they claimed the NWA World Tag Team titles with a victory over Villain Enterprises.

They were members of Nick Aldis’ faction along with Kamille, but it’s unsure if this group still exists after NWA Powerrr ceased airing on YouTube. Kamille is mostly known as Nick Aldis’ “mute” enforcer. For a long time, she refused to speak on TV, and Aldis would become infuriated when asked if he was forcing her not to talk. She finally broke her silence earlier this year in an introductory vignette, as she shared her backstory as the most dominant athlete in her youth; and the other kids bullied her for that. Kamille also explained why she hadn’t spoken til now, and it had nothing to do with Aldis. She didn’t feel like the fans deserved anything from her.

She is undefeated on NWA programming and looked set to challenge Thunder Rosa for the NWA Women’s Championship before Powerrr was cut. Kamille is also known as the former girlfriend of Braun Strowman. In the above picture, we can see Latimer & Kamille recreating the Randy Savage & Miss Elizabeth beach photo. On September 27th, they announced their engagement on Twitter.


63. Tommy Dreamer & Beulah McGillicutty {Married}

As the love story of ECW, Tommy & Beulah were destined to be together forever. And in 2002, over a year after ECW closed its doors, they married and have been together for 18 years. They have twin daughters, who appeared on an episode of The Soprano’s. It is known that Dreamer’s family has connections to the New York mafia.

Dreamer continues working as a wrestler for Impact Wrestling, and for his own promotion House Of Hardcore (which appeared on the comedy show “Impractical Jokers” as a punishment for Q). Beulah is a writer of children’s books, releasing her first book titled “Gertrude the Great” in 2012.


Wrestling Relationships64. Toni Storm & Juice Robinson

In June 2020, a Twitter post revealed that Toni Storm & Juice Robinson are dating. There haven’t been any updates since then, so we can assume they are still together. Toni is known to NXT & NXT UK fans especially, as a former NXT UK Women’s Champion and Mae Young Classic winner.

Going by the name CJ Parker, Robinson was one of the longest serving NXT enhancement talents til his release in 2015. Since then, he has worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling & Ring Of Honor as Juice Robinson, picking up IWGP Tag Team titles with Fit Finlay’s son, David Finlay, and achieving singles success as a two-time IWGP United States Champion.


65. Triple H & Stephanie McMahon {Married}

Arguably the most well-known couple in the history of wrestling. Since Triple H abducted Stephanie McMahon and married her in Las Vegas (in storyline), real-life love bloomed. After lording over WWE as its first power couple, they tied the knot for real in 2003. They have three daughters together.

There was a degree of controversy though, as Chyna claimed they were seeing each other while she was still with Triple H. He later denied these allegations, and the friction between them was never resolved. There isn’t much else to say, because the WWE Network recently documented Triple H’s life and they explained his relationship with Stephanie better than I could.


Wrestling Relationships66. Tyler Breeze & Audrey Marie {Married}

Above, we can see Xavier Woods (left), Audrey Marie (middle) and Tyler Breeze (right). As far as I can tell from looking around, they were never a team… although it looks like they are. I can find no records of Breeze & Woods teaming together, and Audrey spent much of her time wrestling. She was a mainstay in FCW and NXT between 2012-2013, becoming FCW Florida Divas Champion (by defeating Aksana) before being handed her release.

Tyler Breeze continued on and found great success in NXT. By 2016, Tyler & Audrey were married, but it’s unknown what she’s up to these days. After becoming one of NXT’s most popular acts (“Breeze Is Gorgeous!”), his career went severely downhill after moving to the main roster. He was lost in the shuffle til he found his Fashion Police partner in crime. Fandango became injury prone, which meant Breeze had to work on 205 Live for a while, before returning home to NXT. Once his partner recovered, Breezango quickly became the NXT Tag Team Champions last month; meaning it took both Breeze & Fandango nearly a decade to win any championship in WWE. They have surely earned it.


Wrestling Relationships67. Vince & Linda McMahon {Married}

The oldest couple in wrestling is also by far the most powerful. And it will be difficult to imagine anyone ever being more so. When Linda was only 17-years-old, she & Vince got married in 1966. That’s 54 years ago! And they’re still going strong in to their 70’s, after a lifetime of hard work to make their millions. She had stints on WWF television, usually as a babyface mirroring her husband’s tyranny. Linda will probably be best remembered by wrestling fans for kicking Vince in the grapefruits at WrestleMania. She was the President/CEO of WWE from 1980 to 2009, before switching from a wrestling ring to a political one.

Linda used her own, and WWE money, to fund her campaigns to be elected as a senator in Connecticut two times. She missed out by 12% on both occasions. Linda was later appointed the Administrator of Small Business by President and long-time friend/business associate Donald Trump for two years; til she was replaced in April 2019. They have done a great job of raising their two children, Shane & Stephanie McMahon, to have their own business ventures, and are likely to take over WWE when they step down. The McMahon’s have six grandchildren in all.


68. Wentz & Kimber Lee {Married}

Not much is known about their relationship, but they were engaged in 2018 and married in May this year. Kimber Lee is a well-traveled veteran, and first got noticed for her tag team with Cherry Bomb (aka Allie). She achieved her dream of joining WWE in 2016 and worked as an enhancement talent in NXT. But nothing came of her time there, and she was released in 2018.

Lee has since admitted she has struggled with alcoholism, but has turned a corner since meeting Wentz, who works as one of the three Rascalz in Impact Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Guerilla. In 2020, Lee joined her boyfriend as a full-time Knockout, and has recently formed an alliance with Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo.


Wrestling Relationships69. Wesley Blake & Sara Lee {Married}

They have both experienced hard times in WWE. Let’s start with Sara Lee. She is a winner of Tough Enough VI and was assigned to NXT. But Sara was released a year later (according to PWinsider) for not making enough progress in her training. It was initially reported it was because she was pregnant, but this rumor was denied. Wesley Blake spent several years in NXT, winning his one-and-only title with Buddy Murphy; the NXT Tag Team Championship.

The reign came to an abrupt end because their manager Alexa Bliss played such an instrumental part of their image. When officials realized she was way too talented to be managing, they pushed Bliss as a singles wrestler and broke her off from Blake N’ Murphy. The team didn’t last after that, and Blake all but disappeared. Murphy returned later and eventually joined 205 Live, while Blake suffered on the sidelines.

When Jaxson Ryker joined NXT, he was given another chance as one third of The Forgotten Sons. But again, after they were called up to the main roster, he is sidelined (through no fault of his own) because Ryker got political on Twitter and someone didn’t like it. Oh well, at least he & Sara Lee have each other and their two kids to keep them from dwelling on what could’ve been. They were married in 2017, a year after Sara’s release.


Wrestling Relationships70. Will Ospreay & Bea Priestley

A few years ago, Will & Bea confirmed they are in a relationship. When possible, Priestley accompanies her boyfriend to his matches. They worked in World Of Sport together for a while. As Will works for New Japan, they announced they would be getting a house there. AEW signed Bea for their women’s division in the early months, but an altercation between her & Sadie Gibbs at All Out sidelined her for a long time; while Sadie was not seen again.

Priestley returned in March 2020, teaming with Nyla Rose. She attacked the champion after their match and stated her claim to challenge for the title. Bea never got the chance however, as management released her. Will continues to work for New Japan as one of their best junior heavyweights.


Wrestling Relationships71. Xia Brookside & Sean Kustom

Xia is the daughter of British Legend Robbie Brookside. She is a 20-year-old NXT UK superstar, making her one of the youngest in the company. There’s a lot to build on, but she has the tools to be a champion someday. Sean Kustom is an Australian independent wrestler working in the UK.

Going by their social media, it looks like they’ve been together since 2018 at the earliest. Kustom’s biggest matches to date were against Ryback, which he says gave him a lot more confidence as a wrestler. After stumbling across an old blogspot diary from 2009, he says his biggest idols are The Rock & Randy Orton. He currently works for UK promotions RevPro and Defiant.


72. Zack Ryder (Matt Cardona) & Chelsea Green *Engaged*

Zack Ryder used to be in a relationship with Tenille Dashwood (AKA Emma), but I cannot confirm when they called it off. It is reported that Cardona & Green got together in 2017 while she was with Impact Wrestling as “Laural Van Ness”. Ryder worked on WWE SmackDown as one-half of The Hype Bros with Mojo Rawley.

Van Ness was going through the maniacal bride phase, obsessed with getting married to someone… anyone really (except Grado). Ryder lived in Orlando, Florida, the same city as the original Impact Zone at Universal Studios. So somewhere, somehow, they met up and got to know each other. After sending out several feelers, Green eventually got a tryout at the WWE Performance Center and signed a contract.

She was assigned to the NXT brand and debuted under her real name in 2018. Fast forward to 2020, and Zack Ryder was released from WWE after 15 loyal years, with many others at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He joined AEW a few months later, meaning the couple are both wrestling with their real names. They have been engaged for a year-and-a-half.

Fin

And that’s all folks! Hello, is it me you’re looking for?? That’s a whole ‘lotta love. Whole ‘lotta love. ‘Want to whole lotta love. You’re here, there’s nothing I fear
And I know that my heart will go on. We’ll stay forever this way. You are safe in my heart
And my heart will go on and on… Thanks for reading! <3

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